Radakovich evaluation sees 'optimism' in Leggett, Clemson baseball future

Baseball - Jack Leggett talks with athletic director Dan Radakovich

Baseball - Jack Leggett talks with athletic director Dan Radakovich

Citing a positive clubhouse “culture,” Clemson director of athletics Dan Radakovich confirmed that baseball coach Jack Leggett will return for a 22nd season at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

No extension on the two years remaining on Leggett’s contract was announced.

Radakovich said his evaluation process was thorough.

“Prior to the meeting, I sought input from a variety of sources, both within our program and from the outside,” Radakovich said in a joint press release with the Tigers’ coach Tuesday. “The evaluation showed reasons for optimism moving forward, and we look forward to the 2015 season under the leadership of Coach Leggett.”

“One of the factors for a positive outlook for the program is the culture that Coach Leggett has created for his players. While every program not achieving its desired results has questions, I firmly believe following the research done, that the culture in the baseball program is solid.”

Leggett reached a milestone 1,300th win in a victory over No. 6 Miami in Greensboro’s ACC Tournament, but that’s where the Tigers’ run of success ended – losing their last three contests to fail in advancing a round in the ACC or NCAA Tournament for a fourth consecutive season.

Clemson reached the 40-win mark in 16 of Leggett’s first 21 seasons, but after a run of seven super regional or CWS appearances from 1999-2007, his Tigers have missed those rounds five of the last seven (with only one home NCAA regional in that span).

The late-season struggles prompted ample fan critiques, and Leggett had his share of comebacks in the season’s closing weeks. The hall of fame coach is looking forward to getting back in tune on and off the field.

“Clemson is a truly special place,” Leggett said. “Working together with our passionate fans, all pulling in the same direction, I have no doubt we can return quickly to the success we have become accustomed to at Clemson.

“I am excited about the future, and look forward to working with Dan on improvements and adjustments to get us back to the level we all expect.”

Part of the improvement phase is an expanded players’ clubhouse along the first-base line, which the school released renderings for in October 2013 with an estimated completion of spring 2015.

Another area Radakovich cited was in academics, in a sport where the scholarship number is 11.7 for a 35-man roster.

“Coach and I are working together to improve many areas of the program, some which will be visible and others behind the scenes,” said Radakovich. “Making adjustments within the baseball program, including the university’s participation in the Academic Common Market and investing in facility upgrades, will serve us well into the future.

“We have talented and committed student-athletes in our program, and we must do whatever is necessary to create opportunities for on-field success for these young men.”

Radakovich’s program goals, regardless, are clear moving forward.

“The expectation to compete for championships on an annual basis, host NCAA Regionals and advance deep in the postseason is not changing,” he said. “We will make some improvements, refocus on the goals ahead and set our sights on an outstanding 2015 season.”

The following is the full statement from Clemson AD Dan Radakovich and baseball coach Jack Leggett on the future of Tiger baseball...

Dan Radakovich, Director of Athletics

Over the past week, I had several productive conversations with Coach Leggett as we completed a season-ending evaluation of the program. Prior to the meeting, I sought input from a variety of sources, both within our program and from the outside. The evaluation showed reasons for optimism moving forward, and we look forward to the 2015 season under the leadership of Coach Leggett.

One of the factors for a positive outlook for the program is the culture that Coach Leggett has created for his players. While every program not achieving its desired results has questions, I firmly believe following the research done, that the culture in the baseball program is solid.

This past season’s results were not to Clemson’s standards, and Coach and I are working together to improve many areas of the program, some which will be visible and others behind the scenes. Making adjustments within the baseball program, including the university’s participation in the Academic Common Market and investing in facility upgrades, will serve us well into the future. We have talented and committed student-athletes in our program, and we must do whatever is necessary to create opportunities for on-field success for these young men.

Our fans care deeply about Clemson baseball and show their support every game. I have heard from many supporters during the past season, and we will continue to strive to provide a first-class experience and championship-caliber baseball program worthy of their enthusiasm. The expectation to compete for championships on an annual basis, host NCAA Regionals and advance deep in the postseason is not changing. We will make some improvements, refocus on the goals ahead and set our sights on an outstanding 2015 season.

Jack Leggett, Head Baseball Coach

I truly appreciate the support and passion of our baseball community and we all want to win at the highest level, especially the coaches and players in the program. We did not have the kind of year that I had hoped for and it is my responsibility to lead us back to the standards we have set for Clemson Baseball.

Clemson is a truly special place. Working together with our passionate fans, all pulling in the same direction, I have no doubt we can return quickly to the success we have become accustomed to at Clemson. I am excited about the future, and look forward to working with Dan on improvements and adjustments to get us back to the level we all expect.

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Comments » 2

Mebbeimamazed writes:

That's a 'glass half-full' kinda guy!

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

The adjustments you mention is no more than not looking like a comedy act like we did in Nashville on defense. It actually got funny, like they were filming a movie on how not to play defense. That was very A-typical Clemson baseball and it was embarrassing to all Clemson coaches (I guess) the players and I'm sure 95% of the fans.

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